Defense Distribution Center (DDC)
The mission of DLA Distribution is to provide the full range of distribution services and information, enabling a seamless, tailored, worldwide DoD network that delivers effective, efficient and innovative support to combatant commands, military services and other customers during war and peace.
DLA Distribution was first established as the Defense Distribution Center on 1 October 1, 1997, through the consolidation of the former Defense Distribution Region East and the former Defense Distribution Region West. It was a Primary Level Field Activity (PLFA) of DLA. The Defense Distribution Center was a combat support organization, providing a single, unified materiel distribution system for DoD under DLA management. The Defense Distribution Center, headquartered in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania had oversight of 22 distribution depots worldwide. The depots comprised 2 categories of facilities. Some were highly automated, specifically designed to provide global support for general commodities, while others were used to fill customer requirements on a regional basis or to provide global support for material that requires special handling, equipment, facilities, or training. Each depot was dedicated to timely and efficient delivery of quality materiel and services to customers.
The Defense Distribution Center was principally responsible for the Distribution Management business area. Responsibilities included receipt, storage, issue, packing, preservation, worldwide transportation, intransit visibility and redirecting enroute, when required, of all items placed under its accountability by the Defense Logistics Agency and the military services. The DDC's 24 Distribution Depots located throughout the United States and Europe store 3.9 million stock numbers in 348 million cubic feet of storage space and process over 24 million transactions annually. Clothing and textiles, electronics, industrial, general and construction supplies, subsistence, medical material and the military services' principal end items were among the commodities for which the DDC was responsible.
With the end of the Cold War, the DoD logistics system began evolving to support a smaller, highly mobile, technology based force with limited resources. DDC was challenged by an infrastructure far bigger than requirements dictated. DDC had too many warehouses, and was seeking to accomplish by FY05 part of the DLA goal to reduce infrastructure (square footage) by 40 percent from the FY96 baseline. DDC was holding a considerable amount of stock that had not moved in years. More than 50 percent of everything on DDC shelves had not received a requisition in 2 years. In the past, 'distribution' was about depots, the storage of material and responding to customer needs. This narrow view of distribution as a minor link in the supply chain had changed. With many commodities and types of equipment having no commercial use, depots and warehousing would remain an important and fundamental aspect of our business.
In March 1998, DLA announced that most of its distribution depots would undergo public-private competition. The process followed the guidelines described in the Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 and examined the financial impact of providing distribution services at the depots in-house, by the existing government work force, or under contract by a private-sector firm. Under the A-76 process, the depots bid on any work subjected to the competition by designing a "Most Efficient Organization" and formulating an in-house cost estimate. For each competition, the top-ranked private-sector offeror would compete against the MEO. An award decision would be made approximately 18 to 30 months after the solicitation, with conversion to either an MEO or private contract within 6 months.
The Defense Logistics Agency announced on 10 October 2001 that it would conduct public-private competitions for selected logistics functions at 7 defense distribution depots. The 7 depots were located at Anniston, Alabama (239 employees); Corpus Christi, Texas (124 employees); Norfolk, Virginia (530 employees); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (687 employees); Puget Sound, Washington (86 employees); Red River, Texas (626 employees); and Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania (120 employees). Five other depots had already completed the process at that time and an additional 4 were undergoing the study. The remaining depots were being competed in phases scheduled to end in the spring of 2004.
In 2010, as part of the We Are DLA initiative, the Defense Distribution Center was renamed DLA Distribution. A process was also initiative, by which the remaining depots under its control, but in the Continental United States (CONUS) and oustide the Continental United States (OCONUS) would undergo a similar name change. Eventually, each would be renamed as DLA Distribution, plus the location name. The missions of DLA Distribution and its various depots remained essentially unchanged.
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